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Penn State: Software Engineer

Penn State: Software Engineer




State College

Job Type


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We are searching for multiple entry-level software/vehicle control engineers to join our Systems and Emerging Capabilities Division within the Undersea Systems Office (USO) of the Applied Research Laboratory (ARL) at Penn State University. ARL/Penn State’s purpose is to develop innovative solutions to challenging national problems in support of the Navy, DoD, and Intel communities engineering and technology needs. USO serves as a research center of excellence in undersea weapons, unmanned undersea vehicles, and advanced sonars supporting national security and undersea warfare sponsors through the development and demonstration of science and technology with the expertise, tools, and processes to take concepts from the early developmental phase through transition to industry and the fleet.

You will:

  • Develop and test software in support of major DoD programs
  • Debug and test software utilizing modern DevSecOps practices

This job will be filled as a level 1 or level 2 depending on the successful candidate’s competencies, education, and experience. Minimally requires a Bachelor’s degree in an Engineering or Science discipline for a level 1. Additional experience and/or education and competencies are required for higher level jobs. A Master’s degree or PhD in Software Engineering, Computer Science, Computer Engineering, Information Science and Technology or related technical degree is desired.

Additional Responsibilities for a Level 2:

  • Design, develop and test software for undersea vehicle flight and navigation systems in support of major DoD programs
  • Design, develop and test interface standards and software for undersea vehicle Autonomy,  
  • Perform in-water testing of software on targeted underwater vehicle platform

Job Description:

Required skills/experience areas include:

  • Willingness to concurrently work multiple projects (usually 2-3)
  • Ability to work closely within a team of highly trained professionals to meet challenging design and program objectives
  • Candidates should be inquisitive, proactive, and interested in learning new tools, techniques, and problem domains
  • Strong written, oral, and interpersonal communication and presentation skills; be well-organized, independent, and ready to work with minimal supervision
  • Able to work in an environment where problems are often not initially well-defined

Preferred skills/experience areas include:

  • Background in vehicle dynamics, flight control, autonomy, machine learning
  • Proficient in programming for engineering applications and scientific applications (C, C++, JAVA, Matlab, Python, and/or Simulink, etc.) within a Linux and Windows OS
  • Familiarity with CI/CD concepts as they relate to software lifecycle and DEVSECOPS software practices – specifically with GitLab and/or Atlassian tools (JIRA, Bitbucket, Confluence)
  • Design of software architectures using containerization technologies (Open Container Initiative, Docker, K8s/K3s)
  • Research and development experience in autonomy, autonomous systems simulation/evaluation, systems engineering processes, or naval training
  • Previous Navy systems development as related to unmanned systems
  • Active Secret/Top Secret clearance
  • Technical experience related to the development of software for autonomous or unmanned systems is highly desired.

Candidates for consideration must submit a cover letter of interest and a resume.

Job Requirements:

ARL at Penn State is an integral part of one of the leading research universities in the nation and serves as a University center of excellence in defense science, systems, and technologies with a focus in naval missions and related areas.

You will be subject to a government security investigation, and you must be a U.S. citizen to apply. Employment with the ARL will require successful completion of a pre-employment drug screen.  

ARL is committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion; we believe this is central to our success as a Department of Defense–designated University Affiliated Research Center (UARC). We are at our best when we draw on the talents of all parts of society, and our greatest accomplishments are achieved when diverse perspectives are part of our workforce.


Pursuant to the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act and the Pennsylvania Act of 1988, Penn State publishes a combined Annual Security and Annual Fire Safety Report (ASR). The ASR includes crime statistics and institutional policies concerning campus security, such as those concerning alcohol and drug use, crime prevention, the reporting of crimes, sexual assault, and other matters. The ASR is available for review here.

Employment with the University will require successful completion of background check(s) in accordance with University policies.  


Penn State is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer, and is committed to providing employment opportunities to all qualified applications without regards to race, color, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identify, national origin, disability or protected veteran status. If you are unable to use our online application process due to an impairment or disability, please contact 814-865-1473.